LOWVILLE – Dr. Harry P. OConnor, 70, a well-known area veterinarian, died doing what he loved, treating horses, on Wednesday afternoon, October 2, 2013.
He was born in Lowville on March 9, 1943, the son of the late Byrne F. and Marjorie E. Brown OConnor where Harry graduated from Lowville Academy in 1961. He entered Cornell University in the fall of 1961, and spent the next three years in the Ag College. He was accepted in the Veterinary College in 1964, and received a B.S. in Agriculture in 1965, and DVM in 1968.
Dr. OConnor met his future wife, Donna Jean Longwell in the summer of 1966, and they were married on the Cornell Campus at the Anabel Taylor Chapel on April 15, 1967, with Rev. David Conner and Rev. Robert Stover officiating. After graduating from Vet School, Harry took a position with Dr. Wilbur Bulls veterinary practice in Burrville, building up the large animal clientele while Donna assisted in the office. He returned to Lowville in 1969, where the OConnors raised their family. He joined the practice of Drs. Jones, Lormore, Markham and Carroll, known today as Countryside Veterinary Clinic. Dr. OConnor practiced for 45 years and served many generations of dairy farmers.
He devoted a significant amount of time to the community serving on the Lewis County General Hospital Board of Managers, was the current President of Lowville Rural Cemetery where he was instrumental with recent upgrades to the vault, served as Public Health Officer for the village of Lowville, Rabies Coordinator and for 40 years was volunteer weather observer for the National Weather Service from which he received the pretigious HOLM Award in 1993 for conscientious service. Dr. OConnors real baby, however, was the Lewis County Agricultural Society Lewis County Fair as fair board President for over 25 years. He was proud to have seen dramatic growth of the Lewis County Fair during that time period and to which it has became one of the premier fairs in New York State. Dr. OConnor was also past President of NYS Association Agricultural Fairs in 2002.
Harry loved the outdoors where he found time to spend with his boys at Upper Balsam Flats Hunting Club where he served as past president and secretary and served on the Ten Mile Road Association Board. He also enjoyed spending time with his family at camp on Brantingham Lake; going to various sporting events to cheer his grandchildren on and helping his cousin, Wes, make maple syrup in South Otselic, NY. He was also a life-time member of Lowville Elks Lodge #1605; as well as AVMA and AABP.
Surviving Dr. OConnor are his wife Donna, his three sons and their wives, Mark and Tanya; Douglas and Nikki; Matthew and Loretta all of Lowville, and his daughter Kate OConnor of Los Angeles; grandchildren, Brian and Sydney, Morgan, Kody and Cameron, Nicole and Alyssa, and his California Flowers Lily and Violet; his sister and her husband, M. Kathleen and Anthony Pacilio of Brockport; his brother-in-law John and his wife Carol Longwell of Herkimer; uncles and an aunt; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was also a communicant of St. Peters Catholic Church where a funeral mass will be said on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. at St. Peters Catholic Church with Rev. Christopher Carrara, Pastor officiating. Burial will be in Lowville Rural Cemetery.
Family and friends may call on Sunday from 2-6 at the Sundquist Funeral Home.
Memorials in Dr. OConnors name may be made to: Lowville Rural Cemetary Association in care of E. S. K. Merrell 7624 North State Street Lowville, NY 13367, or the LACS Business Office: attn: Dr. Harry P. OConnor Scholarship Fund at 7668 North State Street Lowville, NY 13367.
The family would like to thank, Stanley and Alice Mathys, Beaver Falls and Croghan Ambulance Squad, Fr. Carrara and the doctors and staff at the LCGH emergency room.
On-line condolences may be sent to: www.sundquistfh.com.